Year In Review: Introduction & Challenge #1

2011 is a major year for me personally, some life-changing turning points… To you, it just means I have less free time than ever to do this stuff. Instead of writing 12 blog posts about the year in retrospect, I will blow my holiday vacation, buzz and tireless patience for large amount of moving traffic (vehicular or otherwise) in the cold for a personal challenge:

Twelve Ghibli theatrical screenings. 35 millimeter. 12/16 to 1/12.

I mean I don’t even know this “Twelve days of Christmas” thing. It is suppose to count up from 12/25 and not count down from 12/13, right? This way I kinda combine both. Sorry Shawn, but that $100 ROD Blu-ray box set is not worth as much as $100 in movie tickets for this fantastic opportunity, courtesy of the IFC Center and GKIDS.

I said 12 theatrical screenings because I’m not sure I’ll hit 12 different films. For sure I will try for Totoro, Kiki, Porco, Whisper, Ocean Waves, Nausicaa, Pompoko, and Only Yesterday. Maybe I will try for My Neighbor Yamada. I don’t know, I’ll play it by ear.

I remember someone said that the otaku is ultimately about exploiting nostalgia. I think I can see that in the case of the ideal otaku–not the western version of the term, but the Japanese salaryman who actually can afford owing a collection of anime on Blu-ray–where there is some childish fascination in which has grown into a consuming flame, tempered by the wall of paper-mache made up of not fiber, but societal expectations, pride, wishes of others, fear, and a sense of self. I think you can’t get more memory-trip than Ghibli; it’s the ultimate core of modern otakuism. I mean you can trace moe all the way to Nausicaa (and further back), amirite?

In light of that, I think I’ll write a few posts after all.

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2 responses to “Year In Review: Introduction & Challenge #1

  • Vendredi

    Any chance of a newer add to your list? Arriety, Earthsea, maybe Howl’s (Howl’s in particular always felt like it got a bit of a short shrift coming on the heels of Mononoke and Spirited Away; I feel the bar was set rather high)?

  • omo

    Arrietty is not being screened at this festival. It will be in theaters in the US in Feb., so i’ll catch it then.

    Earthsea isn’t going to be in theaters, at least in the US, until the “rights” expire…

    Howl is available, but I’m not too keen on watching it again since I just saw it in theaters a couple years ago. Maybe. I actually like Howls a lot, more than Spirited Away in fact.

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